Req. PHA Board Members to be trained so they understand their fiduciary duties
Many, if not most, of the Boards of PHAs do not understand their fiduciary responsibilities. HUD PIH Field staff and the IG auditors will never have adequate staffing levels to identify and help resolve egregious problems in risky PHAs which results in millions of dollars of misspent funds and unserved clients and communities. HUD and taxpayers must rely on the Boards of Directors to understand and carry out their fiduciary responsibilities. Suggested action: Include in the Management Plan a requirement that the PIH Hub and Program Center Directors send a welcome letter to new Chairmen/women and include a brief document that outlines their fiduciary responsibilities and in that letter offer a variety of training opportunities including in-person at NAHRO affiliate conferences, teleconferences hosted by the Field Office and online training created and produced by HUD/HQ. Include a question about whether Board members have been trained by HUD so that training of the Board impacts the PHA annual scores. On-site HUD monitoring should include a review of the file of completion training certificates of the Board members to ensure accurate reporting by the PHA.
Six Sigma commented
I look at the book Three Cups of Tea, where one man, with inadequate funds, has built more schools than several governments. I ask myself, how can HUD staff be like Mortensen? Getting maximum bang for the buck? Incorporating local resources to the max, as he does? That book should be required reading, from the library, for ALL HUD STAFF. We hear all kinds of management terms from the 10th floor. Business Process Reeingineering, for example. Except that those people don't understand the process, as a rule. It is fascinating to see them asking the field, and clients, for input, they never used to. In systems, ALL disease, all problems, are the direct result of blockage. Clear the blockage, and the flow heals. With human systems, flow is communication- and acting on feedback. That is the basis of all Six Sigma, Lean, TQM, and all the others. This agency mostly does not act on feedback, unless the IG or GAO is providing it. That is breakdown maintenance, it is not preventive maintenance. The Strategic Plan should have at least 30 Business Processes related to HUD's long term goals, with a full description- based on what really happens- and then areas for suggestions of improvement. This forum is great, as a first step. If HUD is really serious about the 5 goals cited here, it is more than simply collecting ideas. Some sequence of how to implement is important. Many inner city churches, for example, are excited about getting government funds. However, many do not have the capacity to handle them, or account for them. Capacity is more important than the funds. Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish, and you feed his family for a lifetime. We pass out far too many fish, and do almost no teaching. This is stupid at best, no wonder people are angry. The very first step would be collecting Best Practices- as a story of the entire operation of the outfit, and also as segments that can be copied. Even this first step is not occurring, not much.
Tom T commented
Which TQM principles does this relate to?
1. Create constancy of purpose and continual improvement – long term planning must replace short term reaction
3. Do not depend on (quality) inspection – build quality into the product and process What? Not pay huge bucks for software that works poorly? Do the job right up front? Maybe listen to front line people with experience? Wow. Now that would be a transformation.
4. Choose quality suppliers over low cost suppliers – to minimise variation in raw materials and supply.
5. Improve constantly – to reduce variation in all aspects e.g. planning, production, and service. Of course that's not allowed. Instead of that, we have handbooks written in stone 20 years ago.
6. Training on the job – for workers and management, to reduce variation in how job is done. Training? We don't do much of that, and then only when a law requires it.
7. Leadership not supervision – to get people to do a better job, not just meet targets. Now this would be a major transformation.
9. Break down internal barriers – department’s in an organisation are “internal customers” to each other and must work together. They talk a lot about this.
10. Eliminate slogans (exhortations) – processes make mistakes not people. Management harassment of workers will create bad relations if no effort made to improve processes. This would be beyond revolutionary.
13. Encourage self improvement and education for all
14. Everyone is responsible for continual improvement in quality and productivity – particularly top management
This is a pretty good idea. I once knew of a Board Chair who was signing blank checks for an Executive Director (ED). The ED was stealing the PHA blind. The ED was convicted of a felony but the Board Chair didn't even get a slap on the wrist even though she had culpability in the theft. The Board Chair also had friends and relatives in high places for that area so she continue on as Board Chair.